CHAPTER 22

How to React to a Biased Performance Review

by Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio and Kim Kleman

We’re all familiar with bias in performance reviews. Whether it’s the halo-or-horn effect, where the manager’s overall favorable or negative opinion of an employee colors their entire assessment, or the so-called recency bias, where the employee’s latest behavior overshadows earlier actions, many employees feel they have been rated unfairly during their evaluation.

But women, especially, are subject to biased performance reviews—and this is the case whether their manager is male or female. According to research conducted by one of us (Paola) working with large domestic and international professional services firms and using content analysis of individual ...

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